I walked hastily down the path, stepping quickly over the glowing stones. A humming had filled the air, the shrubs were going to begin to turn, there flame growing ever brighter. I inhaled the sweet scent in the air, it was a beautiful aroma, it smelled a little like a wood fire, mixed with apple pie and raspberry coolie. It was delicious. As I came to the end of the path, I spotted a familiar tree to my right. I placed Clara on the ground, she was rubbing at her ribs as though they were in pain, but she had a smile on her face and was breathing in deeply, "Is that chocolate and strawberries I smell?" She asked me, looking up, eyes glowing with the light from the shrubs and something like happiness or satisfaction.
"Quite possibly," I replied, "each fruit has a different smell and flavour to each person, depends on what food we are craving. For example, at the moment I smell caramel tarts with a blueberry sauce." I inhaled again, mouth salivating slightly.
"Doctor, what fruit?" She was looking around us, up at the tree.
"You will see soon miss Clara, just be patient." She stood up, and came over beside me to where I was gazing up at the tree. "Do you see the little wooden structure up there," she shook her head. I sighed, then grabbed her head and directed it up to where several little wooden chairs were clustered around a small table at the top of the massive tree. Sitting in the chairs were several different creatures, an adipose, each with their own cup and plate of something. I then directed Clara's head to the base of the tree where a ladder had been carved into it. I let go of Clara and made my way over to the base of the tree, I then began to climb up through the branches and leaves. I stopped an looked down, Clara was standing there, simply watching me climb, a puzzled look on her face.
"Doctor, are you sure we should go up there?" I looked up the tree and then back at her.
"Of course I'm sure, I promise this will be one of the best experiences of your life!" I shouted back at her. Hesitantly she walked to the ladder and began to climb up behind me. When I got to the top, I reached a hand down to help her up. We were standing at the top of the tree, beside two empty chairs. I sat in one and Clara sat in the other, cautious. She was probably scared it was going to fall out, but I pointed out that the chairs and table were actually how the tree had grown, it was a special type of tree, designed and grown specifically for tea parties, like the one we had just joined. I greeted the creatures sitting at the table, Clara nodded at them, still uncertain and cautious. I looked down at the leaves and branches around me. Everywhere were the little flowers with the flame burning inside, and each was transforming into a piece of fruit. Glowing with its own light. My mouth dropped open in amazement, it was more beautiful than I had expected. I shook Clara to get her attention, she glanced around and saw all the amazing fruit. I picked one and handed it to her, before taking one for myself. I bit into it.
Tantalizing juices filled my mouth, soft bits of fruit full of so many flavours, sweet and decadent, the taste of chocolate cake, topped with strawberries and cream. I chewed, savouring the flavour. I looked over at Clara, her eyes were wide with amazement. I looked around at the rest of the table, each was biting into their own pieces of fruit. Smiles of joy and pleasure decorated the faces of everyone around the table.
Suddenly loud shouts and cries for help could be heard from below. Everyone stopped and looked down, over the side of the tree at the chaos that had broken out below. Dozens of multi-coloured people were fighting off scaly skinned pirates, swords in the hands of the coloured men and baskets in the hands of the women, the children were quickly picking the fruit. The pirates each held their own sword and carried dirty bags, I could barely hear what they were saying but it sounded like they were demanding that the coloured people hand over the fruit.
I shoved the last bite of fruit in my mouth, not wanting to waste it before dashing down the tree and into the dangerous scene below. I pushed my way through the crowd of coloured people and into the gap between both parties. I held my hands up as both the pirates and coloured people took a swing at me.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on there. What's happening here?" No wait I thought... "That isn't the right question, I can see your fighting, and it's probably over the fruit. You guys want to steal it," I gestured at the pirates, "And you guys, coloured people."
"We are the Emctrens!" The blue coloured man closest to me interrupted.
"Right, you Emctrens are trying to harvest it, take it to sell, eat, cook and make your livelihood from, am I right?"
"Close enough," the blue Emctren said, "My people come from our village over those mountains every year to harvest the fruit, it is special to us, we sell it to visitors as jams, sauces and other foods, but for the past three years these pirates have come to take it from us, demanding it and saying we are being greedy and selfish for not sharing its secret location. They believe it is theirs as they claimed this land when they first arrived. But we were here before them."
The pirate who as obviously the captain of the crew, stepped forward, "It's all a matter of opinion really," he stated in a deep gruff voice. "They say that they were here before us, but we quite clearly are Emctrens too," I moved closer to him, peering at his skin, it indeed was coloured, a lovely shade of purple, I nodded for him to continue, he did, "We believe that the amount they are charging in trade for the fruits and the fruit products is much too high, so we have started an underground market on which we trade the fruit and fruit products at a much more affordable price."
The blue Emctren stamped the staff he was holding in frustration. "You don't understand, Titan, you never have, there is a reason for such the high price, we need the stuff people trade for the fruit, without it..."
"Yea, I've been told, without it our race won't survive, we must present it to the Goddess in the mountain or we won't have any harvest next year and our people will become sick and die, I know, but I also know it's not true, my men and I have been into the mountain, she doesn't exist."
I held up two hands to cease the argument